New text messages obtained by Fox News will be red meat for President Donald Trump — they could show the U.S. never threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless they investigated former Vice President Joe Biden.
In other words, no quid pro quo.
The text exchange is between Kurt Volker, who at the time was the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, William Taylor, temporary ambassador to Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union.
The texts are from Sept. 9, just as the whistleblower fiasco was breaking.
One part of the text exchange finds Taylor buying into the conspiracy theory that Trump is pressuring Ukraine to kick off an investigation in order to help his 2020 presidential campaign. Sondland, however, shoots this down.
“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor wrote in the encrypted text message exchange.
“Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The president has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The president is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during the campaign. I suggest we stop the back and forth by text,” Sondland responded.
Another part of the text exchange concerns an “interview,” but it’s unclear what interview is being referred to — Volker, however, is giving a behind closed doors interview on Capitol Hill on Thursday regarding the Ukraine controversy.
“The nightmare is they give us the interview and don’t get the security clearance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)…counting on you to be right about this interview, Gordon,” Taylor says.
“Bill, I never said I was ‘right.’ I said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. Let’s hope it works,” Sondland replies.
The texts were read on air by Fox News chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel.
Check out the Fox News report below:
Source: Fox News
Though the exchange speaks to the division in the current government more than anything else, Sondland defending the president backs up Trump’s claims that his short message to the Ukrainian president about Joe Biden and his questionable connection to his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings was not politically motivated.
What also backs the president up is the actual transcript of the phone call in question being released, and the whistleblower complaint being based on zero direct knowledge of the situation. The Ukrainian president has also stepped forward to say that Democrats are wrong in their theories about the phone call.
It is likely that Volker’s Thursday testimony will shed more light on the text exchange once that testimony is made public.
What also cannot be said enough is that a real scandal is being ignored in this situation: Biden has long been accused of using his power as vice president to help his son Hunter and to profit. The president has renewed calls for Biden’s connections to China and Ukraine to be investigated. Biden was previously accused of withholding funds to Ukraine until a prosecutor investigating a company his son worked for at the time was fired.
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